Dogsitting

This week, my mother is out of town for some important media trip, and has asked me to dogsit for her.

Which is a task I dread every time I have to do it. And I want to be a good daughter, because she raised me and still supports me and has been there for me when I’ve needed her and blah blah blah. But every time she asks, I cross my fingers for an excuse not to do it because frankly, dogsitting for her is a fate I wouldn’t bestow upon anyone.

 

  • First of all, the best part about housesitting or dogsitting for anyone is raiding their snacks. But everything she has is so gosh darn healthy, I don’t even know what to do with it.

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  • In fact, I can barely find any space to put my REAL food.

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  • Okay, but no big deal. As long as she has coffee, I’ll be fine.

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But…a jigsaw coffeemaker!?!?

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But who invented this
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Maybe if just shut it really hard
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Maybe it just figures it out itself
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Maybe I’m thinking about it too much
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Close…
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…enough.

 

  • Oh and another thing. My mom has one of those iSmartAlarm alarm systems, so she’s alerted whenever a door or window has been opened. Therefore she knows whenever I get home at night, whenever I get up in the morning, and if I’ve stayed out all night partying without coming back to feed the dogs.

 

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It’s like dogsitting for Big Brother.

 

  • And I can’t even try to get anything done with this face looking at me the entire time.
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Thank You for the Birthday Gifts

Just when you all thought you were done hearing about my birthday, you were wrong. There are just a few acknowledgments I need to make before officially moving on to my 29th year. I want to thank the people who helped me celebrate my birthday last week, but in particular, the people who gave me stuff.

Zucchini bread

Thank you, Ben, for bringing me that slice of zucchini bread that your wife made. Tell her it was pretty good.

A birthday voicemail

Thank you, Melissa and Jack from 103.7 Play, for calling me while I was at lunch with my mom and wishing me a happy birthday. I have absolutely no idea how you got my phone number or how you knew that it was my birthday, but it was really nice of you to say something. And it made for a great story that all of my friends enjoyed hearing over and over.

A card with a bunch of money in it

Thank you, Dad, for giving up years ago on trying to buy me something I might like, and switching to straight up cash.

A happy birthday email

Thank you, River Lofts, for not only providing me a place to live for the past three years but also sending me an email with a small birthday cake graphic, acknowledging my special day. That was really above and beyond.

The offer of a free croissant

Thank you, Alex and Greta of Lecker Baking Company for offering me a free birthday croissant, that I do one day intend to redeem.

A bike that I bought for myself

Thank you, Rachel, for buying me that bike. I know I’m really going to get a lot of use out of it. That was super thoughtful and literally, exactly what I wanted.

A gift card to Union Market

Thank you, Sarah, for fueling my already excessive habit of frequenting this Church Hill establishment. I’ll use it wisely (on beer).

A book about going to strangers’ houses and documenting their lives

Thank you, Josh, for the book that you wrapped and brought to me at work. So far it has provided me hour of entertainment.

Tickets to the Book of Mormon

Thank you, James, for combining two of my favorite things: theater and organized religion. Oh and for wrapping the tickets in that box of chocolates that you got as a Christmas gift from your company. I know you didn’t actually intend to give that part to me, but you let me take it anyway. That was really nice.

An iced coffee refill

Thank you, Katelyn from Urban Farmhouse, for refilling my iced coffee for free after I told you it was my birthday, even though technically you were supposed to charge me a dollar. Birthdays are important, coffee is important, and now I consider you important.

Some books

Thank you, Mom, for those books you gave me. I can’t wait to read them.

Oh, and also thank you for giving me life all those years ago, etc.

A virgin Mary candle with Amy Poehler’s face on it

Thank you, Brittany, for always knowing what I need even before I knew I needed it.

A beer

Thank you, everyone who bought me a beer the night of my birthday. I totally forget who the heck did, but gosh I know I appreciated it.

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The Apartment Transfer

Well, Kathleen and I are moving. We’ve been in our apartment for two years; we love it, and we love its layout, and its views, and its memories. So the fact that we’re moving is not so much because we want to, as we’re being asked to.

And NO, before you ask, it’s not because of our raucous dinner parties or wine stains on the carpet or the time I put a frozen bagel in the microwave and accidentally filled the entire hallway with smoke.

It actually isn’t our fault at all. Calm down. I’ll start from the beginning.

THE GREAT FLOOD

One evening, I was sitting in my apartment, doing apartment things, when I heard a stream of water. “Weird,” I thought, because I didn’t leave any water running. I followed the noise to my laundry room, and saw a PUDDLE of soapy water pooling out from beneath the door and into the attached kitchen.

“Oh my GOSH,” I thought, because boy, it was a lot of water.

I knew I had to call maintenance immediately to prevent any further flooding. I ran over to my living room window (because I don’t get service anywhere else in my apartment), waited a few minutes for my phone to pick up a bar or two (la dee da, hurry up), and frantically dialed emergency maintenance.

Someone arrived a few minutes later, turned off the water, did some maintenance-y stuff, and resolved the issue.

“Well that was an ordeal that I hope never happens again,” I thought, because it was an ordeal that I hoped would never happen again.

Fast forward one week. I’m again sitting in my apartment doing apartment things, when I heard a stream of water. “Weird,” I thought, because I didn’t leave any water running. I followed the noise to my laundry room, and saw a puddle of soapy water pooling out from beneath the door and into the attached kitchen.

You probably know the rest of the story, ending with me thinking “Well that was an ordeal that I hope never happens again.”

FAST FORWARD TO ONE YEAR LATER

That ordeal that I hoped to never happen again happened again almost every week for a year.

They sent in specialists. They tore apart our laundry room. They flushed the pipes. They moved the washing machine to the dining room and cut open a hole in the wall.

A couple of weeks would go by, we would think that the issue had been resolved, and then suddenly it would happen again. The floor tiles started cracking, the wall behind the washing machine started crumbling, and our entire apartment started smelling like mold.

“When will the madness end!” I thought. “I’m tired of wading through my kitchen!” I also thought.

THE COCKROACHES

So, considering we live in an apartment building with hundreds of other tenants, right above a restaurant, in the middle of downtown Richmond, the fact that we hadn’t had a single cockroach sighting in two years was a minor miracle.

Until this summer…

It was a dark and stormy night. I was just coming back from a long day at work, and couldn’t wait to get home and go to sleep. I walked through the hallway of my building. Unlocked my front door. Let out a huge sigh. Set my keys on the hook. Turned on the lights. Looked at the kitchen floor.

And laid eyes upon

The largest

Cockroach

I’ve ever seen

In my entire life.

It wasn’t so much a scream that I let out, as much as a…well, what’s that noise that mother elephants make when their baby is being taken away from them?

Tenants were emerging from their apartments. Dogs were howling. The police arrived. The governor declared a state of emergency.

By the way, I don’t like cockroaches.

This was the first of our cockroach sightings. In the months that followed, both Kathleen and I started finding them in various places around our apartment, including the bathroom, the laundry room, the linen closet, and Kathleen’s bedroom. Then one morning, I was innocently making my bed when one emerged from the covers.

You’re thinking that’s gross and horrifying, and thinking that I must have really panicked when I saw a cockroach crawling around in my bed that I just got out of.

Well joke’s on you if you thought that, because I, in fact, handled the situation very well.

What better way to deal with that kind of thing than hyperventilating through tears in a ball on top of your kitchen counter? And refusing to move until your roommate gets home? And silencing all frantic phone calls from your friends in fear that the cockroach will hear your voice and then know where you are? I know, I can’t think of a more appropriate way to handle it either.

Here’s a picture of it in fact, on the corner of my bed, taken by my much braver roommate before she ended its stupid and meaningless life.

ew

“WE MEAN BUSINESS”

After the multiple cockroach incidents (in particular, that time I just mentioned about the one crawling in my bed. I lied earlier, I didn’t actually handle it very well), Kathleen and I decided that something needed to be done. So we put on our most “we mean business” expressions and went down to the management office together one afternoon.

Our “we mean business” expressions must have worked because they pulled us into the conference room, shut the door, and apologized profusely for all of our troubles. Oh, and gave us $300 off our rent which I thought was kind.

And then they suggested that perhaps we’d like to transfer apartments, and offered to show us some other ones in our building.

So they did. And we picked one without a flooding laundry room or an insect problem.

THE NEW APARTMENT

Is bigger, so that’s cool.

FREE BEER AND WINE AND PIZZA AND HUGS AND GRATITUDE

Although this will likely be the easiest move both myself and Kathleen ever deal with, it’s still a move, and therefore a hassle. So we’d like to invite anyone that wants to participate to help move all of our stuff from our apartment on the second floor of the building to another apartment on the second floor of the same building.

All participants will receive free beer and wine and pizza and at least one hug and unlimited gratitude (unlimited until we forget that you helped us).

Can’t wait to see you all on Saturday!